L to R: Leg.Vedat Gashi with honoree, Kristen Browde; Leg. Damon Maher with honoree, Barry Kramer

White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators celebrated LGBTQ Pride Month Monday night at its 10th annual observance with a special video presentation to the two honorees.

In his opening remarks, Chairman Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “While cities celebrate Pride Month with a theme of their choosing, New York City Pride’s official theme for 2021 -- The Fight Continues -- is particularly relevant. This theme reflects the multitude of battles that have been fought not just in New York City but across the entire Country in the past year. There are many ongoing fights: the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, an alarming murder rate for transgender people of color, economic hardship, violent efforts to disenfranchise voters, and the rights of the LGBTQ community being questioned at the level of the Supreme Court.”

“We are fortunate this evening to recognize two individuals who, through their advocacy, personal bravery, activism and perseverance, have positively impacted the LGBTQ community throughout Westchester County.”

Legislator Vedat Gashi (D – New Castle, Somers, Yorktown) presented a proclamation to Kristen Browde, veteran journalist, attorney and transgender advocate.

Gashi said, “As the Board of Legislators celebrates the 2021 LGBTQ Pride Month, it is extremely gratifying to have the opportunity to acknowledge Kristen Browde. I can think of few individuals more fitting or deserving of recognition.

Kristen Browde has led a singular life. It has been a life of great professional accomplishment, and a life of great personal bravery and resolve.”

Browde thanked Legislator Gashi, the Board of Legislators and the County Executive, extolling Westchester County as a great place to live, not only for LGBTQ residents, but for all residents.

Browde said, “Our entire state has become a beacon for LGBTQ people because they know, as I know, that it is safe to come out here, to be yourself here, and to work for the benefit of all of those around you.”

The Board has declared Tuesday, June 8, 2021, “Kristen Browde Day” in Westchester County.

Watch the virtual presentation to Kristen Browde here: https://vimeo.com/560135048.

Legislator Damon Maher (D - Eastchester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe) presented a proclamation to Barry Kramer, principal broker-owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Choice Realty in Eastchester, and Fair Housing Diversity advocate.

Maher said, “While June is Pride Month, and many towns and cities have a dedicated Pride Day, people are LGBTQ+ 365 days a year.  Activists and involved citizens like Barry Kramer remind us that there is a way to serve the LGBTQ+ community while being a productive member of the community at large.”

Kramer said, “As a realtor I advocated for the National Association of Realtors to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its Code of Ethics. As a member of its Board of Directors, I was proud to cast my vote in favor, becoming one of the first Associations to add these protections…. Everyone can advocate for what we feel is right. It’s not easy. There are wins and losses and sometimes it takes a little longer to bring about change than we anticipate. This month we can all stand together, celebrate and be proud of our efforts to foster equality for the LGBTQ Community. Happy Pride and thank you again to Legislator Maher for this honor.”

The Board has declared Wednesday, June 9, 2021 “Barry Kramer Day” in Westchester County.

Watch the virtual presentation to Barry Kramer here: https://vimeo.com/560107372.

Read a program for Monday night’s event at: https://www.westchesterlegislators.com/images/Newsroom/2021/20210607-LGBTQ-Program.pdf.

(PICTURED ABOVE L to R: Leg.Vedat Gashi with honoree, Kristen Browde; Leg. Damon Maher with honoree, Barry Kramer)